What is mystartupXX

The mission of mystartupXX is to nurture the next generation of founders and technology companies through mentorship, education and funding.

The mystartupXX program is a one-of-its-kind accelerator that was created to increase and encourage diversity in entrepreneurship. Participants take part in mystartupXX workshops focused on various aspects of launching startups - team building, leadership, performing a market assessment and obtaining customers' feedback, creating a value proposition, validating business models, and understanding financing strategies needed to launch the business. Each startup works with a mentor and meet regularly with advisors to monitor and encourage their progress.

Why is it important to support diversity in entrepreneurship?

“With nearly half of the workforce and more than half of our college students now being women, their lag in building high-growth firms has become a major economic deficit. The nation has fewer jobs—and less strength in emerging industries—than it could if women’s entrepreneurship were on par with men’s. Women capable of starting growth companies may well be our greatest under-utilized economic resource.” Mitchell, L. Overcoming the Gender Gap: Women Entrepreneurs As Economic Drivers, Kauffman Foundation 2011

Funding from venture capitalists (VCs) is a huge challenge for women because only approximately four percent of VCs are female, and only three percent of VC funded companies have a female CEO. The mystartupXX program helps connect all students with potential investors to get their foot in the door and prepares them for investor meetings. Similarly, mentorship and networking are challenges for women because of the small pool of successful entrepreneurs who have started and run a tech-based company. The mystartupXX program provides mentorship for all students, creating an ever-growing, diverse community of founders to support and network with one another.

Who can participate?

The program is open to all UC San Diego undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students, as well as recent alumni, with a business idea. A prototype is not required at the time of application.

The applicant has to be willing to be the team leader. The team leader will receive assistance with the team building process. A team is not required at the time of application however each team should have a woman in a leadership role. Diversity on the team is encouraged. Preferably, the team members will be UC San Diego students.

If selected, the applicant has to be able to participate in all program activities and events, attend meetings with mentor(s), provide project updates and present at the mystartupXX demo.

Up to 10 teams per year are accepted into the mystartupXX program. Prototype is not required at the time of application and teams with ideas in all stages of development are welcome to apply. All applicants and alumni have access to the growing mystartupXX alumni network and are invited to networking events.

Applications are now being accepted for the Fall 2018 cohort! Apply online by October 30, 22018 at 

What does mystartupXX provide?

  • Pre-seed Funding and prototype development support.
  • Participation in workshops and education programs focused on building a company.
  • Co-working space to meet with team members and develop strategies.
  • Invitation to mystartupXX networking events focused on building and expanding their networks of supporters and like-minded individuals.
  • Focused mentoring and one to one coaching throughout the program.
  • Membership in the mystartupXX alumni organization focused on building a global network of innovators, influencers and leaders of technology companies.

Individuals and businesses can support the mystartupXX program. For more information on becoming a program partner, sponsor or mentor, please contact Lada Rasochova at

"Kim Davis King and Lada Rasochova, two of the mystartupXX mentors, helped us refine our pitch and gave us some good feedback about questions the judges might possibly ask. We value the input we get from the whole mystartupXX group – it's a network of enrepreneurs working on diverse projects who we can learn from." – Delara Fadavi (Jacobs School of Engineering, BS ’15), Co-Founder & CEO, Meego Tech